Skip to Content
small graphic lines

ITW Business Model

Our Defining Competitive Advantage

The ITW Business Model is a powerful source of competitive advantage.

The ITW Business Model is a powerful and proprietary set of strategic, operational and cultural practices that have been in a state of continual development and evolution inside the company for over 30 years. It is ITW’s defining competitive advantage and it is the value we add to all our divisions.

The ITW Business Model is comprised of three elements: ITW’s 80/20 Front-to-Back Process, Customer-Back Innovation and our Decentralized, Entrepreneurial Culture.

A Model for Success

80/20 Front-to-Back Process: How We Operate

ITW’s trade-secret 80/20 Front-to-Back Process is a unique set of proprietary tools and methodologies that our divisions use to structure and operate their businesses to maximize the performance, execution and value-add they provide to their largest and most profitable customers, and minimize the costs, complexity and distractions associated with serving small customers. Through the application of ITW’s 80/20 Front-to-Back Process, our divisions deliver best-in-class, customer-facing execution; high-quality organic growth; and superior profitability and return on capital performance.

Customer-Back Innovation: How We Innovate

At ITW, we innovate from the customer back, not from the research and development center out. Our divisions partner with their key customers to create unique solutions that solve difficult technical challenges and improve business performance. The deep capabilities and creativity of our people are evidenced by our portfolio of approximately 18,000 granted and pending patents, including more than 1,900 new patent applications filed in 2019.

Our Decentralized, Entrepreneurial Culture: How We Execute

At ITW, our culture empowers us to think and act like owners. Our people are clear about what is expected of them with regard to our business model, our strategy and our values. Within this framework, we empower our business teams to make decisions and customize their approach in order to maximize the relevance and impact of the ITW Business Model for their specific customers and end markets. Our people thrive in ITW’s “flexibility within the framework” culture; they think and act like entrepreneurs, they are accountable, and they deliver.